Tribe of Lambs – an ethical jewellery brand proudly supporting HIV Positive children in India

by Bobbi Paidel • 20 Mar 2017

"This was neither how it started nor how it was intended. The Tribe gave birth during my first visit to India, nearly three years ago. I ended up here after an unsatisfied feeling in my work as a wardrobe stylist pushed me to travel to Australia & Asia.

The dynamic experience of living in India, compiled with the heartbreaking situation for at-risk youth & my eye for Indian handicraft, inspired what is now Tribe of Lambs. I felt a very real sense of social responsibility to use my skills to make a difference in the world & it seemed to unfold from there naturally.

We launched the initial crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo August 2014 with the intent to be an ethical & fair trade accessories brand, offering knits, bags & lastly jewellery. By January 2015 we were an incorporated Canadian social enterprise, with a focus on jewellery & giving back. Since then we've streamlined the Tribe into a strong jewellery brand offering our customers high quality, ethically produced pieces with 100% of our profits returning to our Compassion Projects.

In the beginning, our efforts were focused on all at-risk youth, taking on projects that were tangible for our small start-up. Through partnerships with local NGO's in Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh & Rajasthan, we installed solar panels at a small orphanage in the Himalayas, set up 80 slum children with hygiene & care packages, rebuilt a library in a low end government school, among other small project and reached well over 500 children in under two years. It was only January 2016 that we decided to concentrate our efforts on the issues affecting HIV Positive children.

I was searching out the "next big project", and to be completely honest I had no direction. I'm not a social worker, nor do I understand the complex social issues of India. After meeting with the founders of Rays Home for HIV Positive Children in Jaipur, our mission for the Compassion Projects became apparent. HIV in India was an issue I had no knowledge of, but once I became aware of the stigma, discrimination & denial of fundamental human rights which this disadvantaged group face we shifted our focus entirely. We now partner primarily with Rays Home & are working for the health, education & housing of HIV Positive children. 

Concerning the journey, the jewellery has taken to reach this point is equally as vast, we've travelled through Himachal, West Bengal & finally landing in Rajasthan to develop & manufacture our products. While we are not there for each & every order, we have a very close relationship with our producers. They believe in our cause while working incredibly hard to produce a stellar product, which in return brings economic growth & social aid to their communities   It's a circular model & we are committed to operating all our business within fair trade standards as we can as a self-funded, minuscule start-up. It is my vision to create our fair trade certified jewellery cooperative, training & employing HIV men & women.  The Tribe currently consists of myself, two passionate, talented & committed colleagues (and friends), as well as one mighty intern. 

I'm sure any social entrepreneur can attest to the challenges of making a dream into a sustainable business. Maintaining integrity within the parameters of change one is working towards isn't always an easy path. However, I believe that now, more than ever, we have the opportunity to succeed in business while lifting others up along side us. The "us and them" mentality of the division is outdated as the new generation of entrepreneurs, artists, movers & shakers are working towards a more collaborative experience. Furthermore, the conscious consumer is there, ready to make wise & impactful choices with their dollar.  

The unified front is both required & available in our current world so that we may all rise together."

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Bobbi Paidel

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17 09 2017


28 02 2018


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